As practical as a sun visor is in the car to protect against excessive glare, it often obscures too much or too little of the driver’s field of vision. Bosch has now presented a solution to this dilemma at CES in Las Vegas: the so-called Virtual Visor.
The sun visor is the “oldie” in the vehicle interior, looks almost exactly the same as it did almost 100 years ago and mostly has a shadowy existence at the top of the windscreen. Blinding sunlight causes more than twice as many serious traffic accidents as fog, slippery conditions or other weather conditions.
Time for something new in the vehicle headlining: The Virtual Visor is a transparent digital sun visor that works in principle like the LED matrix headlights that are now widespread. Just the other way around, because it is not the light that emits from the car that is restricted, but the (sun) light that hits the driver.
How the Virtual Visor works?
A transparent LCD display is connected to the occupant observation camera, which detects the position of the driver’s eyes. Using intelligent algorithms, the virtual sun visor evaluates this information and only darkens the area on the display in which the sun would dazzle the driver. The rest of the display remains transparent and the view of the street is clear.
“We discovered early on in the development process that many drivers permanently adjust the traditional sun visor so that their eyes are in the shade,”says Jason Zink, technology expert at Bosch in North America and one of the co-inventors of the Virtual Visor. The driver’s field of vision is therefore usually restricted by traditional sun visors.
After a concept phase, the team around Jason Zink built initial samples to apply for internal funding for their project. “As with many ideas that are still at a very early stage of development, we had little money and other resources at the beginning. The first prototype that we used to present our concept came from an old LCD screen that we found in a recycling bin, ”says Zink. Their idea and the first prototype were convincing: The team secured the support of managers as mentors and developed more and more sophisticated versions of the system.